Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Somalia: Radio station director murdered in Mogadishu

Source: IFEX

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - 28 February 2012 - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns in the strongest terms possible the murder on Tuesday 28 February 2012 of the director of Somaliweyn radio station at his home in Mogadishu.

Abukar Hassan Mohamoud, nicknamed Kadaf, was murdered by two men armed with pistols who shot him five times, according to eyewitnesses, at his home in the Hawa-Tako neighborhood of Wadajir district, in Mogadishu, at around 18h00 hours local time.

“This murder of Abukar Hassan Mohamoud is another tragedy and continues to further undermine freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Somalia,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “Those who continue to murder journalists must be brought to justice, lest fear cripple both the media community and the people of Somalia who rely on journalists for the news and information," he added.

Mohamoud had been working hard in the past few days towards the re-launch of Radio Somaliweyn, which was attacked and looted by Al-Shabaab in 2010. Islamic militants attacked and seized the radio station, which is part of Somaliweyn Media Centre (SMC), and looted most of the SMC equipment in May 2010, in Shibis district, north Mogadishu. The attack took place on 20 May 2010. Among other items, the Al-Shabaab forces collected the mixer, microphones and computers. The next day they returned to collect the electric generators, scanners and printers. On 23 May, Al-Shabaab collected the media centre's vehicle, more microphones and the tower antenna.

Although Mohamoud's killers remain unnamed, family members and colleagues believe he was murdered for his efforts to reestablish broadcasts of Somaliweyn, which has only been operating online.

Mohamoud, a long-time member of NUSOJ, had been at the forefront of calls for justice and an end to press freedom violations. “He has been a self-sacrificing member who always came out publicly against the suppression of journalists,” declared Osman.

NUSOJ repeats its urgent call for an independent commission of enquiry into the murder of Somali journalists to address the widespread culture of impunity surrounding the death of journalists.

Mohamoud, aged 43, is the 29th journalist to be murdered in Somalia since 2007 and the second journalist murdered in 2012, one month after Hassan Osman Abdi. The director of Shabelle Media Network was murdered in the same district. He left two daughters and their mother.